AAA tips for motorists in flooded areas, standing water

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AAA is urging motorists to use extreme caution when they face hazardous driving conditions due to multiple days of rain and more rain being forecast for the days ahead.

Heavy downpours that create standing water during a storm can be dangerous, and motorists should never drive through standing water at any depth. As little as one-foot of water can “float” most vehicles, and two-feet of rushing water can sweep away  most vehicles.

Explore>> Flooding: Know your risks

AAA cautions motorists to ‘turn around, don’t drown’ even when in familiar areas.

“If a vehicle is driven through standing water, the driver risks flooding the engine, warping brake rotors, loss of power steering, or a short in the electrical components of the car, all of which can be costly to repair,” said Beavercreek AAA Car Care Manager Jon Bucher. “Repairs related to flooded vehicles can cost thousands of dollars to repair and may not be covered by your auto insurance.”

>> TRACK THE CONDITIONS: Live Doppler 7 HD Interactive Radar

If your car has been sitting in water for any period of time, you may need to drain your oil, transmission fluid and lube before moving the vehicle. Get the car out of water as quickly as possible to start the recovery process with a trusted auto shop. The longer a vehicle remains in water, the greater the potential damage can be to key systems. Drivers shouldn’t attempt to start their vehicles until they’re confident all necessary steps have been taken to prevent additional damage.

>> 5-Day Forecast

AAA offers these wet-weather driving tips:

  • Slow down: Drive defensively and with compromised road conditions in mind.
  • Increase following distance: In optimal conditions, drivers should allow three to four seconds to stop. When roads are wet, following a distance should be increased to eight to ten seconds.
  • Make sure tires are properly inflated and have a healthy tread.
  • Never use cruise control in wet-weather.
  • Make sure headlights are on and that your brake lights and taillights are clean and visible, not just so you can see but also so you can be seen my others.
  • Make sure windshield wipers work and don't streak.
  • If you do begin to skid or hydroplane, always look and steer in the direction you want to go.
  • Be wary of high wind conditions, large trucks are more affected by high winds so give them plenty of room on the road.
  • Stay up to date on changing weather conditions by turning into local media reports.
  • Buckle up and get rid of distractions such as music and cellphones so you can concentrate on driving.

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